Sunday, July 08, 2007

Indian Medic Staff Face CautionaryTreatment

Patients at an Australian hospital have refused to be treated by several of the Indian-trained medical staff after two Indian doctors employed there were questioned in connection with the UK failed terror plots. Gold Coast Hospital staff including medical registrars and residents released a statement in support of one of the two doctors, Mohammed Asif Ali, who was released by police without charge after questioning. The second doctor, Mohamed Haneef, is in police custody since Monday night. Speaking on condition of anonymity, doctors at the hospital said patients had refused to be treated by several of the Indian-trained medical staff, accusing them of having some connection to terrorism, the ‘Australian’ daily reported.Queensland Health Minister Stephen Robertson said only a few of the hospital’s staff had been subject to the cautionary treatment, which he condemned. “They’re pretty bruised,” Robertson said. “There is a sensitivity among some of those overseas-trained doctors that they may be subject to racism. I’m hoping that won’t be the case. It’s not the Australian way.” While Robertson defended Ali, he refused to pass comment on Haneef, saying his case was a matter for the Australian Federal Police. Ali drove terror suspect Mohamed Haneef to Brisbane airport where the latter was arrested, and had his colleague’s laptop.